New Canaan Baseball’s Smith and Giusti Earn All-State First Team Honors

New Canaan varsity baseball co-captains Zack Smith and David Giusti were named 2015 All-State players by the Connecticut High School Coaches Association. Smith has been New Canaan’s starting catcher for the past two years. Giusti, the team’s ace pitcher, along with other All State players, were honored at a special banquet Monday night in Southington. Smith and Giusti were two of 17 players from Class L to be named to the All State roster, and New Canaan is the only school in L with more than one honoree. All-State players were selected based on votes from 140 varsity coaches from across the state. Smith and Giusti, who were also named All-FCIAC players for 2015, will continue their baseball careers in college—Smith at Salve Regina and Giusti at Lafayette.

New Canaan Baseball Tops Stratford 11-2 in Class L Opener

With rain pushing the opening game of the CIAC Class L playoffs from Monday to Wednesday—with a potential second round game to follow on Thursday—New Canaan Rams head coach Mitch Hoffman knew pitching would be at a premium. A best-case scenario for New Canaan would be to open up a big lead for pitcher David Giusti, allowing Hoffman to get his ace some much-needed rest for the road ahead. Thankfully for the Rams, Hoffman could not have written a better script himself Wednesday afternoon at Mead Park. Tenth-seeded New Canaan scored five runs in the first inning and added three more in the second en route to an 11-2 win over No. 23 Stratford.

New Canaan Baseball Rallies Twice for Senior Day Win Over St. Joe’s

The afternoon started with a pregame ceremony honoring the 11-member New Canaan Baseball senior class that has accomplished so much over the last four years, highlighted by the program capturing its first state championship since 1950, back during their sophomore campaign in 2013. Before all was said and done though, it was two underclassmen—sophomore Mike Pelli and junior Thomas Williams—who were put into high-pressure situations on the mound and delivered. Their performances, sandwiched around a 2-RBI single from senior co-captain Brandon Abate in the bottom of the 6th that put the Rams ahead for good, led New Canaan to a 10-9 victory over the St. Joe’s Cadets. “You’re asking a young kid [Pelli] to come in, who pitched in the JV game on Monday, and I asked him today how his arm felt, and I said we might need you for one inning,” New Canaan Head Coach Mitch Hoffman told “This is how it’s going to be.

Errors Plague Rams As New Canaan Baseball Falls to Darien 6-1

It was a contest pitting the top two teams in the FCIAC up against one another. Bitter rivals and storied programs with both teams featuring their respective ace on the mound. With hundreds of fans from both Darien and New Canaan lining the fences at Mead Park, it had all the makings for a classic showdown. In the end, it was the Blue Wave who took advantage of seven New Canaan errors, spoiling the home team’s bid for first place in the conference by besting the Rams 6-1. “It was, unfortunately, poor execution,” New Canaan head coach Mitch Hoffman told “We had more errors than either team had hits, which is not going to work.” Athlete of the Week: David Giusti

The Athlete of the Week is sponsored by Baskin-Robbins, Connecticut Sandwich Co., Joe’s Pizza and Mackenzie’s. David Giusti’s four-hit, 13-strikeout performance against Trumbull last week was one of the best individual New Canaan pitching performances in recent memory. What made the 1-0 Rams win even more remarkable is the fact that the senior right-hander sat out all of 2014 with a stress fracture in his back. “As he got off the bus I could sense something special,” Rams head coach Mitch Hoffman told”Last season sucked for him, it just hurt so bad and we hurt so bad for him.” Giusti solidified his position as the Rams go-to pitcher against a team that has evolved into one of New Canaan’s most formidable foes over the past couple of seasons.